“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Tony Robbins
Whether it is a personal endeavor or a business venture, establishing the goal is the first and most important step. As long as you are not clear about the ‘why’, you can’t proceed with the ‘what’ and the ‘how’. Similarly, before building an online community, it is important to clearly define the goals that you wish to achieve from it.
An online community is a shared platform for countless members. People with shared interests become members of a community. However, a community without a clear purpose will not be able to fulfill the expectations of its members. And when members don’t get the true value for their time, they end up losing interest in the community. This is why setting your community goals should be your first priority. So, let’s understand why you need community goals and how you can achieve them.
The ‘Why’ of Setting Your Community Goals
Goal setting is an essential component of building a cutting-edge community that provides a strong sense of belonging to its members.
Following are some key reasons to specify clear and measurable goals before building an online community-
- Every member is slightly aware of what to expect from a community. But setting clear goals offers the purpose behind its existence, which helps in setting a clear direction for the community and its members.
- Goal setting leads to a clear understanding of the scope of the online community. Members know what to expect and the staff knows how they can contribute.
- Measurable goals point out associated potentials and constraints, leading to the opportunity to draw realistic solutions.
Examples of Community Goals
Here are some examples of community goals that will help you follow the right direction when setting your community goals:
1. Driving More Traffic to the Website: A company sells innovative products but it hasn’t gained much traction in the market. Building an online community is a great way to engage potential customers and let them know about products, their benefits, and the problems that they solve. The space will allow potential customers to know the product, engage with the brand, and eventually explore their website to find products that may fulfill their needs.
2. Increased Case Deflection: A company that wants to offer exceptional customer support can build an online community. The community space can be equipped with a knowledge base consisting of blog posts, articles, video tutorials, etc, that members can leverage to troubleshoot issues. Also, community members can help one another. Not only will it boost engagement but will also result in case deflection.
3. Boost Retention: If a company has a high sales rate but low retention, it means they are successfully gaining new customers but are unable to keep the existing ones. So, they can create a platform where users can genuinely discuss their unmet expectations and find solutions for them. It will help the company to pinpoint areas for improvement, work upon them, and make their customers feel cared for. This can help boost customer retention.
3 Ways to Achieve Your Community Goals
As a community manager, enabling purposeful engagement for your community members should be your top priority. Thus, identifying what areas you need to work on to foster engagement is essential.
Here are three tactics that can help you achieve your community goals:
1. Break Down Your Community Goals into Manageable Milestones
Breaking community goals into manageable milestones makes it easier for community managers to achieve them. This will help you reflect and measure your progress. If the results are positive then you can keep going ahead. But in case you are dissatisfied with the outcome, you’d know the areas that need extra effort.
2. Put Together a Community Team and Explain Their Respective Roles
A community can’t be run single-handedly. Usually, there is a community team assembled together to run the community smoothly. A typical community team will have community strategists, moderators, etc. Now, they all have some job roles and responsibilities.
As a community manager, it is your responsibility to make them aware of their roles and how they will contribute to the ultimate goal of the community. Ensure that your community goals are clearly stated and accessible to your community team. You can email them to the team upon joining. Better yet, build a dedicated insider tab that states your goals and their associated roles clearly. It will allow you and your team to evaluate your progress and be on the right path.
3. Prioritize the Goals of Your Community
An online community can have multiple goals like ‘increasing loyalty’ or ‘increasing web traffic’. Now, the increase in loyalty is member behavior not a direct outcome for the community. You need to uncover the direct value you can attain if more members are loyal. For instance, increasing loyalty can mean an improved customer retention rate, a boost in brand advocacy, or more ROI. These outcomes are the direct goals that you need to prioritize. Having these goals prioritized will enable you to directly achieve value for your brand through the community.
Without a clear goal, a community will have no path to follow and deliver no direct value. This is why goal setting is a vital component as it empowers you to move forward in the right direction. But knowing how to achieve those goals is even more crucial. Hopefully, these strategies will help you achieve your community goals.
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